Pleurothallis grobyi – 365 days of orchids – day 776

Tiny orchids can often be the most impressive and this stunning miniature is a good example. The plant here is about 10cm across and for the next month of two will be a cloud of relatively large yellow flowers.

Pleurothallis grobyi is a species recorded from as far North as Mexico and as far south as Peru and Brazil. The clone we have here in cultivation originates from Ecuador but we have seen different forms of the species in Brazil, Belize and Guatemala. We have  found the species in both mountain cloud forest and shaded spots in hot lowland forest and so this is a very variable species or possibly one that should possibly be spilt into several separate species.

The diversity is shown by some of the plants we found growing in Brazilian cloud forests around Macae de Cima in 2005. These included dark yellow striped forms, creamy forms and white forms.

All of the plants we found were growing in primary forest in shade with abundant moss growing around them suggesting that plants appreciate being grown wet and shaded in cultivation. We grow plants mounted on cork, in baskets and in pots and they succeed grown all of these ways with daily watering in Cool Americas.The picture below shows Callum Swift with a plant he found on a fallen branch that shows the conditions the plant grows in perfectly.

The plants we have found in lowland forests in Guatemala and Belize are restricted to mossy patches on dead fallen trees and branches and so are growing heavily shaded and much damper that the surrounding forest. The plants here also had shorter rounder leaves and white and pink flowers. (Below)

Whichever the form, this is definitely a species to look out for.


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